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And the 2016 Calling Caldecott winners are…

Approximately four hundred of you (judging by the number of first-place votes) took part in our second vote yesterday, with every one of the remaining eight books on the ballot garnering significant support (see results below). Congratulations to all those deserving and distinguished picture books! and best of luck in the real world as the Real Caldecott committee begins its final deliberations this weekend.

de la pena_last stop on market street

The winner of our Mock Caldecott, with 577 total points, is Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson. Hooray and huzzah! It was one of the two top vote-getters on the first ballot (with it and Kevin Henkes’s Waiting separated from the rest of the field by a wide margin), and it held a commanding lead all the way on this second ballot.

On the Real Committee, would this vote spread have been enough to declare it the winner? Well, no, since on the Real Committee, consisting of 15 members, a book needs a majority of first-place votes. Here is the relevant portion of the Caldecott Manual:

“There is a formula to determine the winner. A book must receive at least 8 first choices at four points per vote for a total of at least 32 points, and it must have an 8 point lead over the book receiving the next highest number of points.”

We would have needed several more ballots to arrive at a majority, with 400 people voting. But the numbers show a clear distance between Last Stop on Market Street and the other seven books, and so we are very happy to declare it our winner!

Here are the full results:

1st choice
(4 points)
2nd choice
(3 points)
3rd choice
(2 points)
Total points
Boats for Papa
46 41 38 383
Drum Dream Girl
37 47 47 383
Finding Winnie
38 50 52 406
65 47 36 473
Last Stop on Market Street
75 59 50 577
Two Mice
35 27 30 281
58 52 37 462
Water Is Water
45 35 59 403


Here’s a visual picture of the results:


As you can see, these numbers make it easy to pick the winner but present a challenge when it comes to choosing honor books. Look how closely the books under Market Street line up with one another. And the process of choosing honor books is much more fluid and subjective and less rigid than the process of choosing the winner. Again, from the Manual:

“Immediately following determination of the winner of the Caldecott Medal, and following appropriate discussion, the committee will entertain the following:

  • Whether honor books will be named.
  • Whether the committee wishes to choose as honor books the next highest books on the original winning ballot or to ballot again.
  • If the committee votes to use the award-winning ballot, they must then determine how many honor books to name.
  • If the committee chooses to ballot for honor books, only books that received points on the award winning ballot may be included. The same voting procedure is followed as for the award winner.
  • If the committee has chosen to ballot for honor books, following that ballot, the committee will vote how many books of those receiving the highest number of points are to be named honor books.”


Robin, Lolly, and I decided to choose the next two highest vote-getters — Daniel Miyares’s Float and Kevin Henkes’s Waiting — as our honor books. Congratulations to them! But, as no one in our field will ever forget, last year the actual Caldecott committee named an unprecedented six honor books, and we might easily have gone that route here, as well — and the numbers would have supported that decision. It just goes to show how much wiggle room there is in the process of choosing honor books! On an actual Caldecott committee, faced with these numbers, the chair might well have called for a new ballot in order to get a clearer separation between the remaining books.

So there you have it.

We want to thank everyone who participated in Calling Caldecott this year. Thanks to our heroic Guest Posters: Dean Schneider, KT Horning, Roger Sutton, Deborah Taylor, Julie Danielson, Angela Frederick, Elissa Gershowitz, Allison Barney, Sam Bloom, Celia Perez, Elisa Gall, Megan Dowd Lambert, Vicky Smith, and Jennifer Brabander. They brought fresh eyes and fresh voices to the book discussion. Thanks to everyone who commented this fall and to everyone who voted this week. And, of course, HUGE thanks to the authors and artists who created the masterpieces that are the 2015 picture books.

Don’t go away: we will be back with news from the ALA Midwinter conference; a report on Monday morning’s Youth Media Awards press conference, where the Actual Winners are announced; and, we hope, after the dust has settled, a special post by the chair of the 2016 Caldecott Committee. Looking forward to it all! Meanwhile, your comments, as always, are welcome 🙂




  1. All eight books here are of the very first-rank, though I say nothing original here. And I do adore all three winners. It will be most interesting to see the way the real Caldecotts go Monday.

    The Horn Book gold medal winner last year (The Farmer of the Clown) and the second place finisher the year before (Mr. Tiger Goes Wild) got shut out when the actual awards were announced.

    But if I were a betting man I would not be wagering against Mssrs. De La Pena and Robinson, who have clearly captured the hearts of so many with a union of brilliant lyricism and exquisite art, (Robinson is so overdue) and I would have to think the gold or one of the silvers (can we have six again?, haha! just kidding, though I wouldn’t complain at all) is almost all but assured. FLOAT and WAITING would seem to be two others with excellent chances, but then we have TWO MICE, FINDING WINNIE, BOATS FOR PAPA, DRUM DREAM GIRL and WATER IS WATER, all going in seemingly with a leg up.

    But, who’d be crazy enough to underestimate:

    It’s Only Stanley
    The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
    In A Village by the Sea
    Drowned City
    The Whisper

    and about a dozen others that never made the first ballot, books like The Moon is Going to Addys House, Special Delivery, Yard Sale, The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, Trapped!, The Skunk, Night Owl, The Plan, Emmanuele’s Dream, Oskar and the Eight Blessings, I Used to be Afraid, Rude Cakes, Juneteeth for Mazie, and a host of others. i can’t list them all here, I’ve already gone too far.

    Great job here by everyone! 🙂

  2. I’m still holding out hope for Lenny & Lucy!

  3. Bill Wright says:

    My third grade class (at Kensico School, in Valhalla NY) just completed their voting today on our mock Caldecott…

    The Medal goes to Waiting, Honors to Drowned City, Float, My Pen, and The Skunk.

    We’re eagerly awaiting the news from Boston on Monday morning!

  4. Safranit Molly says:

    The 3rd and 4th graders in my Caldecott Club voted yesterday. The results were:

    Winner: Finding Winnie
    Out of the Woods
    Meet the Dullards

    I would be interested to know what kids in other places have loved this year! We’ll be eating doughnuts together Monday morning as we learn the results from Boston!

  5. Safranit Molly says:

    Apologies! We are in Portland, Oregon. Portland Jewish Academy–PJA Proud!

  6. Great results, I really like all 3 of these books. This is not what I was expecting based on the books that we were voting for, but honestly, I really didn’t know what to expect.
    In our mock Caldecott votes here in LA at my son’s school, my 2nd and 3rd grade classes all voted Finding Winnie as the medal winner and then various other books won honors. First grades varied: The Skunk was voted medal winner in 2 of the 3 classes, the third voted Night World as the medal winner.This was my first year doing a Caldecott reading program, will probably make lots of changes for next year. But the students and the teachers really loved it!
    Thanks for hosting this blog and for all the excellent reviews. I enjoy following this blog so much every year and miss it sorely from after the ALAs til September.

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